Madrid to Bilbao by Train, Bus, Car, and Plane

The Guggenheim in Bilbao
The Guggenheim museum in Bilbao. Dani_vr/Creative Commons

By Bus

There are regular buses throughout the day between Madrid and Bilbao. The journey takes five hours. The train journey is of a similar length but more expensive (and less frequent), but the train station in Bilbao is more central than the bus station, making your transfers a whole lot easier.

Buses from Madrid to Bilbao depart from Avenida de America bus station. Read more about bus and train stations in Madrid and bus and train stations in Bilbao

You can book most bus tickets in Spain online at no extra charge. Just pay with a credit card and print out the e-ticket.

By Train

There are two trains a day from Bilbao to Madrid, taking five hours. The bus is cheaper but a little less convenient. Trains from Madrid to Bilbao depart from Chamartin train station.

By Car

It takes 4 hours to drive the 400km from Madrid to Bilbao, following the A-1, AP-1 and AP-68 Note that AP roads in Spain are toll roads.

Consider a stop in Burgos to break up the long journey.

By Plane

There are regular flights from Madrid to Bilbao and they can be very cheap if booked in advance.